Meals on Wheels: Our critics review Orlando's best food trucks
Mobile eateries have come a long way. We combed bazaars, pods and parking-lot lunch stops - and sampled more than a hundred dishes - to bring you critical reviews of some of Orlando's best food trucks
Published: May 3, 2012
Fish Out of Water Sushi Truck
The prospect of eating raw fish prepared inside a mobile canteen may lead some to think that the wheels are coming off this whole food truck craze, but try telling that to the hordes clamoring for a taste of FOOW's corpulent rolls. Yeah, sriracha and spicy tuna seemed to be the dominant ingredients in most of the rolls and, save for octopus, sashimi was entirely nonexistent, but at least truckies are afforded a full view of sushi chef Al Ruiz (formerly of the Globe and Funky Monkey Wine Co.) doing his thing. If the truck is a-rockin', Ruiz is likely rollin' such creations as the tempura Ring of Fire ($13) and the volcano roll ($12). Spicy tuna and cucumber forms the core of the former, while krab and goat cheese comprise the latter, but both are assaulted with a mess of spicy krab, eel sauce and sriracha. Stellar? Hardly. Satisfying? Absolutely. How FOOW obtained the title of “Floridas No. 1 Sushi Food Truck” is a bit of a mystery, but the dearth of sushi food trucks in the state may have something to do with it (Red Koi in South Florida is the only other one I know of). However, if the title were based on pork potstickers ($6) and avocado fries ($6) alone, it'd be no contest. I loved those avocado fries - restaurants should follow their lead.
Classic combos of fresh ingredients, baked on a super-thin multigrain crust that stays crisp even when taken to go, are served searing-hot, melty and big enough for two to share. Flat-Me-Q features shredded chicken breast, cheese, caramelized red onions and apple-coffee BBQ sauce ($8). Say Cheese is for the cheeseheads: goat, mozzarella, fontina, Romano, Asiago and Parmesan sprinkled with herbes de Provence and truffle oil ($7). Save room for dessert - a mini flatbread with Nutella, bananas, thick-cut crispy bacon and white chocolate drizzle ($4).
Fork in the Road
Chef Bryce Balluff, veteran of countless upscale restaurant kitchens, takes his show on the road with this mobile gourmet eatery. While we have to give points for ambition, menu items don't always stick the landing - a recent dish of handcut fries topped with fresh mozzarella and a truffled wild-mushroom ragout was rife with so many competing bold flavors that they canceled each other out. The jackfruit BBQ sandwich, with strands of the meaty-textured fruit standing in for animal protein, was drizzled with a blue-cheese cream that clashed with the jackfruit's durian-adjacent aroma. However, the Shorty, a menu standby, is perfectly executed: 72-hour-braised short rib harmonizes with aioli and shaved fennel on toasted baguette. Desserts, like perfect strawberry shortcake and the deep-chocolate “peanut butter cup on steroids,” don't fail to please.